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David Trimble, then leader of the UUP, Statement on decommissioning, 21 October 2003

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Text: David Trimble ... Page compiled: Martin Melaugh

The following is the statement made by David Trimble, then leader of the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP), in response to the Independent International Commission on Decommissioning (IICD) report and the third act of IRA decommissioning, 21 October 2003:


"I'm sorry that this has been somewhat delayed but you can appreciate why.

Our positions as regards to whether we would support the reformation of an administration and an executive was that we would see what people said, see what they did, and then we would make a decision.

There had before this morning been an agreement on a sequence of events which were to take place in the course of today.

The sequence was to begin with statements from republicans with a speech from Mr Adams that was endorsed by the IRA.

Now the speech was good, there were very good things in it, and we were very much encouraged by that.

Then we were expecting to have a report from General de Chastelain on transparent acts of decommissioning and there was clear agreement between us and republicans when we were talking that there should be greater transparency.

We had made it very clear to republicans and the governments and the general that what we needed was a clear transparent report of major acts of decommissioning of a nature which would have a significant impact on public opinion and demonstrate that we were in a different context.

Unfortunately we had not had that; we have not had that at all.

There possibly may have been those substantial acts of decommissioning but we have not had the transparency or an adequate report from it.

Under the agreed sequence the next step would have been a number of statements from myself about our desire to see the administration reformed.

Everyone knows about our desire and how hard we have worked over the last number of weeks in order to have meaningful elections to an assembly.

However I am sorry I have to say that in view of the failure of the IICD [Independent International Commission on Decommissioning] to create the necessary confidence and because of what the IICD has done we probably have less confidence than we had an hour ago, because of that I regret I am not in the position to make those statements.

We are in effect putting the sequence on hold.

What we will do is we will make arrangements to consult the party and hold a special UUC [Ulster Unionist Council] meeting.

This will give republicans who foolishly imposed obligations of confidentiality on the IICD and the IICD the opportunity to repair the damage to the process that has been done this afternoon. I hope that opportunity it taken and I hope we will be able to resume the sequence that is put on hold."

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